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Course Details

Fall 2013-2014
* SAS 330 / COM 319 / TRA 330 / CLA 331 (LA)   No Pass/D/Fail

Mahabharata as Literature, Performance, Ideology

Frederick M. Smith

The Mahabharata is considered to be the world's longest epic poem and among the foundational works of South Asian civilization. Students will learn the basic story and characters and read selections from published and unpublished parvans or "major books" of the epic, to understand its cultural context and impact, both historically and across centuries of interpretation. Recent scholarship on the epic's historical, ritual, and mythic contexts will be examined. Course will introduce students to the Indian epics, wider issues of epic scholarship, and the transmission and living performance of epics in South Asia and abroad.

Sample reading list:
Van Buitenen, J.A.B., The Mahabharata, Vol. 1-3
Fitzgerald, James, The Mahabharata, Vol. 7
Hiltebeitel, Alf, The Cult of Draupadi
Johnson, W.J., The Sauptikaparvan of the Mahabharata
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Weekly reading assignments; writing assignments include reports, reaction papers and a research paper.

Papers - 70%
Oral Presentation(s) - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other information:
Papers count as follows: four reaction papers (2-4 pages each) = 10% each; research paper (~15 pages) = 30%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23415 L01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Aaron Burr Hall   209   Enrolled:4 Limit:25